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Vending machines in Germany offer wurst, steaks and entire meals

Bratwurst and rouladen from Gubers Wurst and Brotzeitautomat, a vending machine that dispenses meat in Mantel, Germany.

MARTIN EGNASH/STARS AND STRIPES

By MARTIN EGNASH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 31, 2019

Do you long for a high-tech society where you can do all of your grocery shopping from a machine, without all the fuss that comes along with interacting with humans? Well, thankfully we’re not quite there yet, online shopping aside.

But you can get entire meals from vending machines in Germany, which is a start.

Some vending machines are stocked with all sorts of meat and other meals. Pop a couple of euros in and your meal falls to the bottom of the machine like a bag of chips.

I’ve been thinking about trying one out for a while now but had my reservations, as I think most foreigners would. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

Most of the machines are located near local butcher shops, like the one in Mantel, a village close to the U.S. Army’s Grafenwoehr Training Area.

The machine, Gubers Wurst and Brotzeitautomat, is stocked with many of the things you might expect to find at a Bavarian butcher, like bratwurst and steaks.

The steaks look surprisingly good for a piece of meat wrapped in plastic on the side of the road. But I decided to try the bergbratwurst, which turned out to be delicious.

The machine also had some meats less familiar to Americans, like rouladen, which is a piece of beef rolled around bacon, onions and mustard. In the machine, this comes in a jar, where it’s stewing in gravy. It looked a little gross but once I cooked it, the meat was extremely tasty.

For reasons I’m still not sure about, I also tried the leberwurst. This is a liver sausage in a can that looks suspiciously like cat food. The liver spread actually tasted really good on top of some bread with a couple of pickles on top.

You can also get less-meaty options, like soups, breads and even sauces like curry and spaghetti sauce.

The jarred currywurst also looked good, soaking up all the curry seasoning, crammed inside those little containers.

If you want to make a meal out of this semi-futuristic experience, there’s also a small variety of soft drinks inside.

Overall, I think everything I tried was pretty good. Not great. But certainly better than I expected. I would try it again sometime if I wanted to grab a steak and the butcher was closed.

egnash.martin@stripes.com
Twitter: @Marty_Stripes

Address: Huettener Str. 6, 92708 Mantel
Directions: It is a little less than 10 minutes away from Grafenwoehr, en route to Weiden.
Hours: 24/7. It’s a vending machine.
Prices: between $3 and $6 for most items.

Gubers Wurst and Brotzeitautomat, a vending machine that dispenses meat in Mantel, Germany.
MARTIN EGNASH/STARS AND STRIPES

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